Promissory Estoppel Case Study

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Introduction Main Body ~ The doctrine of promissory estoppel was established with the intention of preventing injustice. This may arise in circumstances whereby, party A makes an agreement with party B under contractual legal rights. However, party A may choose to go back on his original agreement as a result, the other party will seek to enforce their strict legal rights. The doctrine originated in Hughes v Metropolitan Railway Co. (1877). In the lease agreement, it required that the lessee to repair by given notice. The landlord gave notice for repair within six months. The tenants were initially inquiring to purchase his premises. The landlord then entered into negotiations along the tenants, whereby he had also agreed that he would not enforce the obligations required, while negotiations take place. Negotiations continued for two months then broke down. Landlord sued for not carrying out repair duties required in the lease. Consistently, House of Lords held that ‘tenants was entitled to equitable relief against forfeiture of the lease on the ground that the running of the six-month period was suspended during negotiations.’ Nevertheless, House of Lords refused to accept the argument, as ‘it was unsupported by consideration therefore, arguably unenforceable.’ This case lead an interest among the likes of Lord Denning, who is acknowledged for the invention of the doctrine of promissory and genuinely putting the doctrine into practice. The doctrine emerged through the case of Central London Property Trust Ltd v High Trees House Ltd (1947). The claimant had let a block of flats in London, on a 99-year lease at the annual rent of £2500. During the 1940s, as a result of outbreak of war and evacuation from London, they were ... ... middle of paper ... ...t of the doctrine to be removed is not expressed, however, there are reference to whereby terms use of ‘limit’ and ‘refine’ which is believed to emphasises on the practical benefit rather than legal. Russel LJ, views the doctrine through occasion technalities, where courts can preven giving effect to the intention of parties. He further adds, that ‘consideration’ is considered as a ‘vititaing factor’ which is a requirement for ‘valid and subsisting contract.’ Russel LJ, does not distinguish the doctrine along with public interest but the formately of it. In contrast, Lord Goff rasies doubts as well, whereby he states, contract is widely seen as deficient’ where the ‘prsence of an unnescessary doctrine of consideration.’ Professor Dawson further supports, this suggests that the argument is based around that consideration ‘draws the net of enforceability too tightly.’

In this essay, the author

  • Explains the doctrine of promissory estoppel in hughes v metropolitan railway co.
  • Explains that house of lords held that tenants were entitled to equitable relief against forfeiture of the lease on the ground that the six-month period was suspended during negotiations.
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